Merck Appoints New Chief Medical Officer and Director of Global Clinical Development

Kenilworth-based Merck announced that Dr. Roy D. Baynes, Global Clinical Development Manager (GCD) and Chief Medical Officer, Merck Research Laboratories (MRL), will retire from Merck in July. Dr Baynes will be replaced by Dr Eliav Barr, effective April 1.

“Roy is one of the world’s foremost oncologists and clinical development experts, and his masterful leadership of the development of KEYTRUDA leaves an indelible mark on Merck, on oncology and on the lives of patients and their families. As textbooks are updated to reflect the era of immuno-oncology, Roy’s contributions cannot be overstated and will persist well beyond his eight years at Merck,” said Dr. Dean Y. Li , President, Merck Research Laboratories. “I know many join me in thanking Roy for his efforts and wishing him well in his next chapter.”

Dr. Baynes joined Merck in 2013. Under his leadership, Merck has become a leading oncology company and has achieved over 140 drug and vaccine approvals worldwide in numerous therapeutic areas. This includes the development of KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), WELIREG™ (belzutifan), VAXNEUVANCE™ (15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine), ZEPATIER® (elbasvir and grazoprevir), LAGEVRIO® (molnupiravir), ZERBAXA® (ceftolozane and tazobactam), RECARBRIO™ (relebactam), PREVYMIS® (letermovir), BRIDION® (sugammadex) among others and, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, Eisai and Bayer, the development of Lynparza (olaparib), Lenvima (lenvatinib) and VERQUVO™ (vericiguat), respectively . He also led Merck’s research and development expansion in China and Japan.

“It has been a privilege to have led the global clinical development organization during my tenure at Merck,” said Dr. Baynes. “I am immensely proud of the team’s accomplishments and the difference we are making in the lives of patients around the world. I look forward to continuing to work with Eliav in the months to come to ensure a smooth transition.

Dr. Baynes will be replaced by Dr. Eliav Barr, Senior Vice President, Global Clinical Development. During his more than two decades at Merck, Dr. Barr held positions of increasing responsibility, including leadership roles in oncology and infectious disease clinical development. Dr. Barr oversaw the company’s Vaccines/Infectious Diseases area during a period of high productivity, including the development of new therapies for chronic hepatitis C and HIV-1 infections. Most recently, he led MRL’s global medical affairs organization from 2018 to January 2022, significantly expanding Merck’s scientific engagement and implementation efforts in oncology, vaccines and more. In his new role, Dr. Barr will lead all late-stage clinical development for Merck’s extensive human health portfolio and pipeline and will report to Dr. Li.

“Eliav’s career at Merck has been marked by roles spanning infectious diseases, oncology and vaccines involving the development of several first-of-its-kind drugs and vaccines that have since been used by millions of people around the world. Most notably, he led the development of Merck’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, which have become key tools in the global effort to reduce the burden of certain cancers and diseases caused by HPV,” said the Dr. Li. “Eliav’s expertise in global clinical development, combined with his unwavering commitment to patients and Merck’s goal to save and improve lives, make him well qualified to be the next director Merck Medical and the ideal leader for our industry-leading global clinical development team.

Dr. Barr is a cardiologist by training. He received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University and his medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. He completed his internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, then pursued postgraduate training at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Merck in 1995, he held a faculty position at the University of Chicago. In 2019, he was a proud recipient of a Penn State Alumni Fellow Award for his dedication to developing drugs and vaccines that treat and prevent infectious diseases.

“I am honored to take on the role of Director of Merck’s leading clinical development organization,” said Dr. Barr. “I am grateful to Roy for his mentorship and excited for the opportunity to build on Merck’s proud heritage of delivering breakthrough medicines and vaccines to the patients we serve. »

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